DELEON SPRINGS, FL — Feb. 7, 2019 — The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds continued their marathon week-long stretch of events at Volusia Speedway Park with the third night of the 48th annual DIRTcar Nationals. The half-mile, high-banked dirt oval located west of Daytona Beach had seen 95 teams make at least one appearance within the first two days for the Ironmen of the DIRTcar Nationals. On the third night of competition that number swelled again to 102 teams on hand. When the checkered flag flew, three-time defending DIRTcar Nationals Champion Nick Hoffman survived a ferocious charge from a hard-charging Kyle Strickler and pole-sitter David Stremme to win his first Feature of 2019.
“We really had a good shot tonight, even with Kyle (Strickler) and David (Stremme) right there with me. I wanted to see what they had. Strickler blew my doors off earlier, but I was able to get back by him. There was a lot of guys who were really strong. Lucas (Lee) was good too,” said the 26-year-old driver, originally from Belleville, IL who now calls Mooresville, NC home.
“I just tried to bide my time there early in the race, trying to keep the tires underneath me. I got really rolling there in the middle and just got so much traction off the corners. Second sucks man. I didn’t want to finish there anymore, so I just got up on the wheel, and here we are,” added the driver of the popular #2 Fox Shox / Elite Chassis machine who started the week off with a pair of runner-up showings to start the week.
Stremme and Hoffman led the 28-car field to Chief Starter Dave Farney’s for their highly anticipated feature. Hoffman zipped out to the early race lead, but that was short-lived as Stremme charged back by to take the point on the second lap. Fifth-starting Lucas Lee emerged from the pack and slipped past both Hoffman and then Stremme to take over the top spot with Stremme and Hoffman in tow. Soon, Strickler, who started 11th, joined the trio up front as the crossed flags signal was given.
With the laps counting down, Stremme mounted a charge back at Lee and overtook him with just five laps to go. He brought Hoffman, Strickler and former NASCAR competitor David Reutimann with him as all four got by Lee. Hoffman looked high and low, trying to figure out a way back around Stremme and was able to do so with just three laps to go for the fourth lead change of the race. Strickler got by Stremme and tried in vain to catch Hoffman. However, Hoffman was up to the challenge and would hang on for his first DIRTcar Nationals Feature win of 2019 and extended his streak of winning a Feature at Volusia in February to five years.
Strickler settled for second with Stremme, Reutimann and Lee completing the top five. RC Whitwell recorded his best finish of the week with a sixth after starting 20th while Curt Spalding grabbed his best finish of the week and his third top 10 in three starts with a seventh. Brian Ruhlman finished eighth as Chase Collins made the most of his first feature start of the week to finish ninth as two-time NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Champion, Matt Crafton secured his best finish of the week by rounding out the top 10.
Reutimann out-timed the 91-car field who participated during the night with an 18.631 in Qualifying and won his Heat Race. Lee, Hoffman, Ruhlman, Stremme, Spalding, Tyler Evans and Mike Altobelli Jr., also picked up Heat Race triumphs. Brandon Green, Garret Stewart, Zeke McKenzie and Tyler Nicely were the winners of the four Last Chance Showdowns.
One of the most popular nights during the DIRTcar Nationals is the highly anticipated Quad-15s night for the DIRTcar UMP Modifieds on Friday, February 8. Every Modified team on the grounds will race in a Feature for a chance to win a coveted Gator. Then on Saturday & Sunday, February 9-10, the pivotal Big Gator Championship Qualifier Nights will begin setting the field for the 15th annual Big Gator Championship on Monday, February 11. Also, on Friday, the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series will move in with their 2019 season opener and their first of three nights in a row at Volusia.
For more information about the remaining nine days of the 48th annual DIRTcar Nationals and to order tickets, please call: 1 (844) DIRT-TIX or log onto the event website at: dirtcarnationals.com You can also follow the DIRTcar UMP Modified portions of the DIRTcar Nationals throughout race week by visiting the DIRTcar Racing Social Media outlets. Just search for “DIRTcar Racing” on both Facebook and Twitter as well as the DIRTcar Nationals Twitter page for the very latest updates from Volusia Speedway Park and the 48th annual DIRTcar Nationals.
-DIRTcar Racing Press Release and Photo